“Look,” Kurga said, “a shooting star! It’s good luck!”
“Luck,” Ch’Voga told him, “is the name of God to the godless.”
“Now what does that even mean?” But Ch’Voga had lapsed silent again. Quietly sewing the sail and tending to the dying slave.
“I’ll tell you what it means,” Prudance answered instead, “it means he does not believe in luck and neither do I.”
“Not believe.. in…” Kurga gasped. “But it’s bad luck not to believe in luck!”
“Did you even think about that before you said it?” She shook her head.
“Did you?” Kurga shot back, “how do you explain our current predicament if not for luck? How did we come to be wrecked?”
“We went sailing in a sandstorm.”
“But why did the uh… riggy-thingy..”
“Yes that! Why did that break then?”
“Because all of the weight of the boat was leaning on it for a day and a half and it caught a rock.”
“Well, what are the odds of hitting a rock in all this sand?”
“For us, they were apparently one hundred percent.”
“Oh that’s just fatalism! I cannot believe.. you would then say that everything which happens is meant to happen?”
“Everything which happens is a direct result of something else happening. What you would call ‘bad luck’ is nothing more than a case of someone making a poor decision or someone else’s opposition. We choose our fates, merchant and when all our careful plans go awry, we blame luck instead of hunting down the people actually responsible. We are stranded here in the desert, wasting the last of our water on a dying slave after being forced out of safest place for us to be. We will dehydrate long before we find water or shelter. Is this bad luck?” Kurga fell silent. “We are going to die here. All our busy work. All our labor here is in vain!” She was yelling now. “Your precious mission, my boat, my entire life, are all forfeit! And why? Don’t talk to me of luck! When I look at my life, I don’t blame chance! I know who to blame!” Kurga retreated before her but she was no longer roaring at him.
Quietly, almost to himself, Ch’Voga whispered, “I think she gives people far too much credit.”
In the darkness someone shouted, “’Allo!” A shared look of confusion and they ran around the sail. There in the starlight, just sliding to a stop, was a catamaran.
“’Allo again, mes amis! I am so incredibly happy to find you at all, to not speak of being alive! Tout un coup de chance!”
“I said, ‘some luck, wouldn’t you say?’”